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Whale Shark Encounter-A Once In A Lifetime Experience

Whale Shark

All year round the Caribbean is perfect for water activities and experiencing the fish and corals that live in the sea. But there are certain seasons that offer more interesting activities for visitors than the others.

May happens to be an exceptional month when Whale shark encounters start. These magnificent fish make the Yucatan Peninsula an the Gulf of Mexico their temporary home until the middle of September. you can be a part of something unique, a once in a lifetime experience that is not only entertaining but is also part of the sustainable activities in the Riviera Maya.

Important Facts about Whale Sharks

Whale Shark and diver

Whale shark season starts in the middle of May and lasts until the middle of September. July and August are the best months to enjoy this encounter with the largest fish in the sea. The Yucatan Peninsula represents for them a natural resource for food and it is the place to visit during this time of the year. The Caribbean side of the peninsula is the main attraction for them giving its warm waters and richness in plankton. Whale sharks gather between Contoy and Holbox islands and it is so far the largest aggregation of Whale sharks in the entire world.

This spectacular event is a protected activity to ensure the whale sharks continue their migration each year. During the season snorkels era may find themselves swimming with up to 50 whale sharks in a pod. If you are unfamiliar with the whale shark and their habits, their main food source is plankton. They are not predators to any other mammal, if anything they have a predator, humans who love to see these fish.

Participate In Sustainable Activities In Riviera Maya

whale shark eating

The whale shark tour is special. It allows you to meet them in their natural habitat without interfering with any of their behavior. Almost 20 years ago, people knew barely anything about these incredible fish but snorkeling with them have given us the opportunity to study their behaviors and raise awareness about their protection. The more we know about a specie without getting in contact with them or interfering with their natural activities, the more we create empathy and collect important information to protect them.

Snorkeling with whale sharks is an unforgettable experience and it gives you the sense of protection towards them, how can you not become closer or empathetic with a creature that you just met?. As long as the activity is organized by a Tour Operator that has the right permits and follows the rules to protect Whale sharks, the experience will be unique for you and stress less for the fish. We have to make sure they never lose their natural wariness of humans and being part of small group tours helps. Also remembering that in order to keep this activity sustainable, whale sharks safety comes first.

Whale Shark Encounter Golden Rules

Whale shark encounter sustainable

There are certain regulations that tour operators enforce in order to protect Whale Sharks. We have to keep in mind that in order to remain sustainable, whale sharks have to come first. These magnificent fish are so docile that when someone touch them their automatic response is to swim away and we don´t want them to relate with fear their natural habitat, especially when this one represents the area they use to feed themselves. These fish gather to feed and the least we can do is not to stress them by touching them.

If you are about to meet these magnificent fish there are some important things we recommend to ensure a great experience for you and these gentle giants:

• Under no circumstance can we touch whale sharks
• Do not feed them.
• To avoid stress for them, swim on the sides and always following their route.
• Always wear Biodegradable sunscreen.
• Swimming has to be no less than 5mt. distance from the Whale shark
• Life vest is mandatory even if you know how to swim.
• Do not use flash in cameras, it affects whale shark´s vision and sense of direction.
• Harras, disturb or hurt any whale shark is not allowed.
• To bring food with you while swimming or endanger in any way whale shark ecosystem is forbidden.

How Can I Meet These Gentle Giants?

Swim with whale sharks

We have managed to find one of the best Tour operators to offer our customers this incredible experience. The tour lasts for about 8 hours, starting with the pick up at 7am at your Hotel, condo or private Villa. Round transportation to Cancun is included and as soon as you arrive, a boat with capacity for 10 people only will take you into the Sea to finally meet whale sharks. After you swim and snorkel around them, you will be taken to Contoy island for lunch and after that you return home.

Making your reservation in advance is recommended, as the Tour operators that hold permits for this activity, only organize small groups to ensure whale sharks safety. Since dates are rapidly booked, your personal concierge [email protected] will make your reservation in advance so you don´t miss the unique opportunity to snorkel and swim around these gentle giants.

You can also make your reservation by phone, dialing (984) 196 1049 if you are at the moment in Riviera Maya, or 011 52 1 (984) 196 1049 if you are visiting the area soon but you´re trying to book from the States.

Paulina is a crazy animal lover who has been living in the Riviera Maya for over 9 years. Her expertise is designing unique vacations for travelers and visitors. This comes from her desire to share her area knowledge, local restaurant secrets, and cool cultural experiences that have been a large part of her life on the coast. Paulina never sits still on her day off as she feels there is always something to see, a new beach to check out or a new restaurant to try. She loves answering questions and helping you plan your next vacation. [email protected]

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